Update: It appears that the initiative is not the work of Google tagging New York nor an initiative mandated by government regulation, but something as distant as an accounting standard titled GASB 34 issuing municipalities financial reporting requirements to maintain their credit ratings.
Interesting geodata can emerge from anywhere indeed. As so many times before, we only need inherent openness and creativity to harness the unintended uses.
Start looking at all the light posts in the city, about 7-8 feet off the ground. Every single one has a barcode.
Steve Bull clued me in to this on Wednesday night. He said a few weeks ago, he was walking along and ran into a few guys with a huge GPS unit and a 6-foot antenna. They were placing the bar codes and correlating them with their respective geocoords. He didn’t know who they were or why there were doing it.
Does anyone know what’s going on? Did the Semacode guys get funding, is Google feeling threatened by Gumspots or is this just the latest efficiency project from the NY Dept of Public Works? If the latter, will datasets be open and available?